Effects of the tumor vasculature targeting agent NGR-TNF on the tumor microenvironment in murine lymphomas

H. W M Van Laarhoven, G. Gambarota, A. Heerschap, J. Lok, I. Verhagen, A. Corti, S. Toma, C. Gallo Stampino, A. Van Der Kogel, C. J A Punt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

TNF-α may improve drug delivery to tumors by alteration of vascular permeability. However, toxicity precludes its systemic administration in patients. NGR-TNF comprises TNF coupled to the peptide CNGRC, which is a ligand for CD13. CD13 is expressed on tumor vasculature. Therefore, to assess the efficacy of NGR-TNF its biological effect on tumor vasculature should be measured rather than its effect on tumor growth. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a low dose of NGR-TNF (5 ng/kg) on vascular permeability, tumor hypoxia, perfusion and proliferation in lymphoma bearing mice. MRI measurements with blood pool contrast agent showed an increased leakage of the contrast agent from the vasculature in NGR-TNF treated tumors compared with controls (p <0.05), suggesting NGR-TNF-induced vascular permeability. Immunohistochemical analysis two hours after NGR-TNF treatment showed a decrease in tumor hypoxia (p <0.1) and an increase in labeling index of the S-phase marker bromodeoxyuridine (p <0.1), possibly due to an increase in tumor blood flow after NGR-TNF treatment. Although a decrease in tumor hypoxia and an increase in labeling index could have lead to increased tumor growth, in this experiment after one day a decrease in tumor volume was measured. Possibly, the effects on tumor hypoxia and proliferation two hours after treatment are transient and overruled by other, more longlasting effects. For example, the observed increase in vascular permeability may lead to haemoconcentration and increased interstitial pressure, ultimately resulting in an reduction of tumor blood flow and thus a decrease in tumor growth. A beneficial effect of NGR-TNF in combination with other therapeutical agents may therefore critically depend on the sequence and timing of the regimens. Currently, NGR-TNF is being tested in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Hypoxia
  • NGR-TNF
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor necrosis factor TNF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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